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Raiders 2016 team draft needs

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

We have a while before the 2016 draft. And a lot can and will happen before then with regards to the Raiders' roster. But until then, let's take a look at their top team draft needs.

1. Cornerback

This was a need last offseason and it wasn't addressed. They came into the season with one of the weakest overall cornerback units in the league. It was pure luck that David Amerson came available for them, and they were able to claim him off waivers where he would end up leading the league in passes defended. But after Amerson, there isn't much to feel secure about among the cornerbacks.

TJ Carrie was not terrible and if they can keep from having to move him to safety as they did last season, he is a valuable part of this unit. DJ Hayden, in his third year in the league, didn't develop into the corner the Raiders hoped he would when they took him 12th overall in the 2013 draft. There are a few top corners in this draft who would be worthy of being chosen at 14 overall.

2. Safety

Charles Woodson is now retired and Nate Allen's future is uncertain after finishing just three games last season. Even if Allen is brought back, there is still a safety need. If he's not, there are two safety needs. Sensibly, one of those safety spots should be filled via free agency. The other in the draft.

3. Middle linebacker

Curtis Lofton was a disastrous free agent signing. For some reason the Raiders just can't seem to find a middle linebacker. Last year's fifth round pick Ben Heeney played well in spot duty. He and Malcolm Smith both played well at the inside linebacker spot, especially in 3-4 sets. Even still, the Raiders must continue to try and find the answer in the draft to the void at middle linebacker.

4. Offensive tackle

Donald Penn is a free agent. He will be 33 soon and it is unclear if he will return to the team next season. Even if he does return, the Raiders need to start looking toward the future at the left tackle spot. Depending on how the draft shakes out and how serious the Raiders are about getting the position filled, that selection could be as high as their pick at 14 overall.

5. Offensive guard

With so many needs last offseason, guard didn't get the attention it deserved. The starter for most of the season was late free agent pickup J'Marcus Webb. He ranged between serviceable and abominable and will once again be a free agent due to having signed a one-year minimum deal. Stepping in late in the season was Jon Feliciano with marginal results. He was the team's fourth round pick out of Miami (FL) last season. The team traded down in the round and watched all the best remaining guards come off the board before they made their pick. How high of an emphasis they put on the position this year will depend on their opinion of Feliciano's progress throughout the season as well as if they can fill the position in free agency.